Education minister Krishnandan Varma gets social welfare charge after Manju Verma's resignation
Bihar Education Minister Krishnanandan Prasad Verma was given the additional charge of the Social Welfare Department after its minister Manju Verma resigned in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal case.
A notification to this effect was issued by the Cabinet Secretariat Department. Though the notification had yesterday's date, it was put on the official website today.
Manju Verma had stepped down yesterday following allegations of links between her husband and Brajesh Thakur, who was the key accused in the case of sexual abuse of young girls at the state-funded shelter.
The call details of Thakur's phone revealed that he had talked to her husband 17 times from January to June this year.
Speaking to media from a prison van in the court compound at Muzaffarpur yesterday, Thakur said he used to speak to the minister's husband, Chandeshwar Verma, but it was "on political issues".
The official website of the Bihar Social Welfare Department promptly replaced the name and photograph of Manju Verma with that of Krishnandan Verma.
Political observers see the allocation of the Social Welfare Ministry to Krishnandan Verma as part of efforts to placate the Kushwaha caste to which both Manju Verma and Krishnandan Verma belong.
In the midst of intense demand for her resignation after the name of her husband cropped up in the case, Manju Verma had alleged that she was targeted as she belonged to the backward Kushwaha community.
Kushwaha caste was the second largest block after the Yadavs among the politically dominant OBC in Bihar.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from the beginning had carved out a strong support base in his own OBC Kurmi caste and the Kushwaha caste, popularly called as "Luv and Kush".
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)